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Dear Friend:

Greetings dear voters! I promise this Tuesday doesn't have to be scary, so forget the tricks, I'll get right to treats!

If you’re looking for an unbiased view of this year’s races, please check out www.KanVote.org/learn. I’m terribly behind schedule in getting this to you, so thanks to those of you who pinged me for names as you were filling out your mail ballot!
 
EVERYONE Kansan has something on their ballot on Tuesday (constitutional amendment), so keep reading! 
Sign of the Times 😡
Those blasted signs! Sharp Record readers know my despise-abhor relationship with right-of-way (ROW) signs. For a look inside a real campaign, here’s what happens: 
  1. Candidates who can’t get signs in actual voters’ yards litter every ROW with them, to make up for their lack of real support. 
  2. Then, your friends call and text every day: “I keep seeing your opponent’s signs, why aren’t yours at the corner of XX and XX (and like 10 other places).” 
  3. So, you put a few out so people stop calling you. 
  4. Then the original ROW dweller puts more signs out and your friends and your kids’ friends, and your church group gets paranoid and they ALL call and text again.
  5. And THAT’S how our roads get to look like the dump. AND that’s your tax dollars that are spent to pick them up after it’s all over. I’d rather my Public Works department spend time plowing snow, wouldn’t you? (Thanks, Leawood PW for getting our cul-de-sac!)
  6. You’ll notice the good candidates are those that pick up their signs, even if they lost – often long after everyone else is asleep, their work is not done. 
Kudos
  • Olathe West debate teacher, Josh Anderson summed up SO much of what is going on in our culture right now, his words are inspiring and asks each of us to appeal to our better angels. 
  • Kudos to Leawood – the only local unit of government without chaotic elections! I’m sure that contributed to its recent “Best Small City in America” title. No Leawood mayor or city race is contested. Congrats to the City team, you must be doing something right! 
  • Also, kudos to my friend David Waters who is running for Westwood Mayor for the first time and is unopposed! He’s been on the council a while, so he knows his stuff and WW folks know him, so not surprising, but nice to see someone doing all the right things win. 
Stephanie Sharp, Owner
Sharp Connections
"Translating Politics Into English"
KanVote.com/learn is a 1-stop candidate research site I created to aggregate unbiased, publicly-available information on legislative candidates in Kansas. Candidate voting history (frequency), surveys, forum videos, articles, and endorsements are listed for each candidate as available. If you know of sources I'm missing, please forward to me!
VoteSharp is a constituent communications tool designed to enhance the relationship between elected officials and their constituents. VoteSharp is serving state & local elected officials in ten states.
*Campaign product coordination disclosure at the bottom. On city and school board races, if you live in DeSoto, Edgerton, Fairway, Gardner, Lake Quivira, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Spring Hill, Westwood (other than Mayor, mentioned below), Westwood Hills, and DeSoto, Edgerton, Gardner, Olathe, or Spring Hill School Districts (mostly uncontested races), I got nuttin’ for you. My hope is you had a candidate (or two!) come to your door – and you gave them two minutes of your time to learn about them!
The following are who I would vote for in the November 5 election*:  JCCC
First in my heart is JCCC of course. I included the “why” in my pre-primary Sharp SheetJameia Haines, Nancy Ingram, Greg Musil – check out their serious (and a few funny – MORE COWBELL) videos on their FB page.
 
Constitutional Amendment: Here’s an unbiased explanation of what the amendment does.

My overview: When the census is conducted in Kansas, college students and military members who are living temporarily at school or on a military base are “counted” for census purposes as residing in their permanent addresses. Kansas is the only state that makes this adjustment because physically, these folks are counted in Lawrence, or Fort Riley, or Wichita, for example. 
  • A YES vote would END this process and “give” that population to the city where they are in school or serving in the military.
  • A NO vote would continue the process of adjusting those Kansans to where they truly live. 
  • The census numbers are used to change legislative boundary lines and determine which seats go where, so it’s kind of a big deal when it comes to legislative representation. 
I can see both sides on this one, number one, the adjustment costs $850K. However, students and military members will be living in their temporary locations for a small part of the ten years for which these census numbers will be used for their representation. What is accurate representation worth? What is representative democracy worth? To me, $850,000 is a bargain. 
 

Lenexa 
Mayor Mike Boehm is uncontested because, well, he rocks, and because hello, City Center has made the ‘burbs hip! 
  • Ward 1: Chris Poss has chaired the Lenexa Planning Commission for a number of years. So, while yes, the mayor and council played a huge role in the city’s commercial success, those efforts had to come under the eagle-eyed review of the Planning Commission first. Chris has the temperament for public service and truly loves Lenexa.
  • Ward 2: Tom Nolte is uncontested
  • Ward 3: Dan Roh is uncontested
  • Ward 4: Linda Leeper ran the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce for 17 years, the entire time living in Lenexa! She has incredible relationships throughout the county and will be a huge asset to Lenexa in her understand of how cities and commerce thrive together. (Lenexa has a very positive business-to-residential tax structure which keeps residential taxes low because businesses pay higher rates.)
Olathe
Mayor Mike Copeland is also uncontested, no one can question the incredible growth and good works going on there!
  • At-Large: John Bacon has been around long enough that he knows his stuff. And his opponent just keeps running for different things, seeing which one will stick. 
  • Ward 1: Larry Campbell has been Mayor, Councilman, State Representative, Ethics Professor, Lead Guitarist, Banker (yes – both of those things together), a state and local budget expert, and is just a downright good human being, which is what we all should want in those who represent us!
  • Ward 2: Speaking of good people, Jim Randall has been western Olathe’s voice for a number of years and again, knows his district and how the city operates. Instead of a candidate who wants to be somebody, I’m more interested in candidates who want to serve somebody. 
Overland Park
  • Ward 1: Terry Happer Scheier has served OP well and is an excellent city councilor. She hasn’t had the ability to conduct the boots-on-the-ground campaign of her challenger, but she is an avid and hard-working public servant.
  • Ward 2: Paul Lyons – who doesn’t like this guy? Paul takes a lot of time and energy delving into the nitty gritty of policy, especially when it comes to public safety and the city’s finances. 
  • Ward 3: I’ve been watching Tom Carignan’s work in OP for a few years, hoping he would jump to the elective side. This is an open seat and Tom is endorsed by the incumbent who is retiring (Dave White), Mayor Gerlach, and former Mayor Ed Eilert. 
  • Ward 4: Fred Spears proactively seeks out citizen input on committees and throughout the community. He knows the city’s infrastructure backward and forward!
  • Ward 5: It's very rare to have a current mayor (Carl Gerlach), the former mayor (Ed Eilert), and the former city councilman (John Skubal) in the seat endorsing against an incumbent. That, my friends, is how great of a candidate Phil Bressler is. I haven't known him long, but I met him through Rick Worrel if that tells you anything about his character. As I’ve come to know Phil, I can honestly say he’s one of the most genuine and highest integrity people I've known. 
  • Ward 6: Rick Collins knows his stuff more than any other candidate in these races and is willing to call others' bluffs when they're playing with numbers and pretend to know what they're talking about. 
Shawnee
  • Mayor: God bless you Shawnee. You’re often your own worst enemy – back and forth from knee jerk political reaction to head jerk growth blocking. With cities, you’re either growing or you’re dying. I get that suburbs want to maintain their small-town charm, and many have been successful at doing so while also growing. It can happen. You don’t want to be a part of (or have your tax dollars going to) a dying city. Stephanie Meyer is the best hope of balanced, common sense, reasonable leadership. She will be a professional, respected, well-spoken ambassador for the city, which it so desperately needs. 
  • Wards 1-4: I haven’t followed these races well this year – a lot of how this council will act will depend on who is elected mayor. Just please. Not Kevin Straub.  
Blue Valley School Board: 
  • At-Large: Tom Mitchell
  • District 2: Patrick Hurley
  • District 3: Jodie Dietz 
Shawnee Mission School Board
  • SMN position: Sara Goodburn
  • SMNW position: Devin Wilson
  • SMS position: Jessica Hembree
Water Board: 
Our water is something you really shouldn’t mess around with, and definitely isn’t something that should be politically driven! WaterOne consistently wins awards for its water process – and taste! If it ain’t broke, don’t break it: 
Terry Frederick, Rob Olson, Dave Vanderveen, Mark Parkins
 
If you’re in Wichita, reply back and I’ll send you some thoughts! That mayor’s race needs to be over. Now. Before we make the national news again for all the wrong reasons!
 
Disclosure:
I promised myself only to be heavily involved with the JCCC race this year because it’s very near and dear to my heart, that I wouldn’t consult on other local races due to limited time. But when it came down to it, some of the things I saw happening in races, I couldn’t NOT help. 
  • Consulting: JCCC; Fred Spears, Tom Carignan, Phil Bressler, Larry Campbell 
  • App only: Stephanie Meyer, Chris Poss, Linda Leeper, Jim Randall, Devin Wilson, Sara Goodburn 
I miss interacting with you via my newsletters and am grateful for the opportunity to connect in this way. Please let me know if I can be of service to you, or if you have questions about voting!
Happy connecting,

Stephanie Sharp, Chief Political Translator
Sharp Connections, LLC
"Translating Politics Into English"
VoteSharp.biz
KanVote.org
SharpConnections.biz 






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